Initiative for Social Entrepreneurs (i’SE)

I'SE team Led by CEO Sarah Crawley, i’SE ( a well-established organisation that provides business support to social enterprises, community and voluntary sector organisations working across the West Midlands. Their mission is to help other companies provide quality employment for people with disabilities.

Established in 1998,i’SE has grown from two original staff members to a team of ten, supported by further freelancers. Of these ten, four are classed as severely disadvantaged in the job market. Examples of i’SE’s supportive and positive working environment includes flexible working hours, a stress management policy and supported training through a supervised appraisal system.

i’SE was originally established to support the development of social enterprises that create employment opportunities for people severely disadvantaged in the labour market. Since then the Social Firms sector has developed as a distinct category within social enterprises. Unlike other social enterprises which can have all sorts of social missions, Social Firms have a clear social purpose; to provide quality employment for severely disadvantaged people within a real business context. i’SE now works to help other Social Firms. Chief Executive Officer Sarah Crawley explains:
As an organisation supporting the development of Social Firms within the social enterprise sector, i’SE has always been committed to the employment of people disadvantaged in the labour market.
We are immensely proud of being a Star Social Firm. This is our opportunity to tell people about our values and philosophy and also to lead by example. As a development organisation we want to encourage other organisations to achieve commendation for delivering high quality services and running high quality Social Firms. The recent policy changes with regards to skills development and employment create a real opportunity for the continued development of Social Firms. The Star Social Firm award has the potential to support the development of the sector by providing a quality framework.

I'SE receiving Star Social Firm awardI'SE receiving Star Social Firm award